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UB Solar Strand

Students taking a tour of the solar strand

One of the largest ground-mounted solar arrays in New York State, the Solar Strand has the capacity to produce 750,000 watts of energy and also serves as an innovative outdoor classroom.

Brought to life by world-renowned artist Walter Hood, the Solar Strand welcomes students, faculty, staff and community members to campus through a connected cultural and natural landscape. Groups of photovoltaic panels—3,200 in all—are mounted onto supports that stretch in three rows along Flint Road, creating a new gateway to the North Campus. The design’s logic is derived from the “strand” concept: a linear landscape formation and DNA fingerprint. 

Walkways run between the rows of panels, connecting the array with local roads, the Center for Tomorrow, and naturally regenerated meadows and wetland areas that the public can enjoy. The array’s tallest groupings of solar panels form a slanted roof over three outdoor “social rooms.” At 140 feet wide and 1,250 feet long, the array has a rated capacity to produce 750,000 watts of energy. The project, one of the largest ground-mounted solar arrays in New York State, was funded by the New York Power Authority. The initiative will generate enough carbon-free energy to power hundreds of student apartments. It also will create natural classrooms for pre-K through post-graduate students.